Painting of spacecraft and lander exploring Saturn and Titan.
Source: NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech/Ken Hodges
Published: March 1, 2017

Twenty-eight years before Cassini-Huygens arrived at Saturn, artist Ken Hodges painted this vision of a possible mission to explore Saturn and the giant moon Titan for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

In the 1970s and 80s, before advanced computer graphics, Hodges created paintings that depicted many different missions – some in the planning stages and some only imagined.

Hodges painted this scene of a Saturn orbiter with a lander going to the surface of Saturn’s largest moon Titan almost 30 years before the the Cassini-Huygens mission reached Saturn.

Cassini, carrying the European Space Agency's Huygens probe, was launched in 1997 and spent seven years traveling to Saturn. Huygens was released in December 2004, and landed on Titan on January 14, 2005 - the most distant landing to date in our solar system.

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